Dimethylnitrosamine-Induced Reduction in the Level of Poly-ADP-Ribosylation of Histone Proteins of Blood Lymphocytes - a Sensitive and Reliable Biomarker for Early Detection of Cancer


Poly-ADP-ribosylation (PAR) is a post-translational modification of mainly chromosomal proteins. It is known to be strongly involved in several molecular events, including nucleosome-remodelling and carcinogenesis. In this investigation, it was attempted to evaluate PAR level as a reliable biomarker for early detection of cancer in blood lymphocyte histones. PAR of isolated histone proteins was monitored in normal and dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-exposed mice tissues using a novel ELISA-based immuno-probe assay developed in our laboratory. An inverse relationship was found between the level of PAR and period of DMN exposure in various histone proteins of blood lymphocytes and spleen cells. With the increase in the DMN exposure period, there was reduction in thePAR level of individual histones in both cases. It was also observed that the decrease in the level of PAR of histones resulted in progressive relaxation of genomic DNA, perhaps triggering activation of genes that are involved ininitiation of transformation. The observed effect of carcinogen on the PAR of blood lymphocyte histones provided us with a handy tool for monitoring biochemical or physiological status of individuals exposed to carcinogens without obtaining biopsies of cancerous tissues, which involves several medical and ethical issues. Obtaining blood from any patient and separating blood lymphocytes are routine medical practices involving virtually no medical intervention, post-procedure medical care or trauma to a patient. Moreover, the immuno-probe assay is very simple, sensitive, reliable and cost-effective. Therefore, combined with the ease of preparation of blood lymphocytes and the simplicity of the technique, immuno-probe assay of PAR has the potential to be appliedfor mass screening of cancer. It appears to be a promising step in the ultimate goal of making cancer detection simple, sensitive and reliable in the near future.